This past weekend was a whirlwind of activity. Lola turned 5 years old and Tylor, my nephew and my sister’s son moved into the dorms at Lipscomb University.
Lola woke up excited for her birthday and quickly moved into tears, announcing to the room that she didn’t want to get older. I understood as the night before her birthday I too had clung to the lingering toddler smell of her four-year-old self. I’m a momma who believes in keeping my babies, babies as long as possible – childhood is just a flash in the pan during ones lifetime and being cuddled, loved and cared for as long as possible is an intricate fabric in the secure building blocks of our foundation. This by the way has nothing to do with telling my kids that everything they do is perfect – ‘cause I KNOW that’s not true and a definite set up for a spanking delivered by reality when they enter the world and the world says, “shorty, you ain’t perfect and in fact you just messed up.”
Lola’s day was all about her, after expressing her fear of “change”, ‘cause I know getting older has nothing to do with age – but the unknown of “what comes next and what is expected of us in this new phase of our lives.”
MaryAlice rolled through the door at 8am, gift in hand and ready to celebrate Lola, Lee grumbled, “When did birthdays turn into Christmas”, I answered back the day my babies were born. Lola received a dollhouse, a stuffed animal from Tylor & an outfit from my sister – MaryAlice gave her a leapster.
Once we ate a rockin’ breakfast of gluten & dairy free blueberry pancakes we loaded the M.T.P with Tylors college life and delivered him to his freshman dorm at Lipscomb University here in Nashville (only 10 minutes from my house). He was so excited and into setting up his space and I was reminded of my first days at Kent State, my momma had cried all the way there and I was thrilled to be moving into a world that was my own. My Kent State College experience was short lived as my mother was killed during my first Christmas break and the next school I attended the following fall was the University Of Maryland – my first week there was sad, scary, lonely and I wondered HOW I would make it through alone. I felt great honor to help Tylor set up his room, filling his shelves with snacks, folded t-shirts and attend orientation with my sister and him. Tylor KNOWS that the unknown is for certain but that he is supported and we believe in him – there is a huge difference facing the unknown ALONE. What I LOVE about Lipscomb is the feeling of support that the students and the parents are given; Yep, it’s a very Christian school with strict rules, no girls in the male dorms except at certain times, dorm curfew of midnight, no drinking nor drugs – but having experienced life at giant state schools I now KNOW that heading into the world without any boundaries can be down right nuts, people between the ages of 18 and 22 are still young and need structure. I also LOVE that faith is part of the day – being reminded that there is a higher power, that life works things out if we believe in good is a gift to surround a young person with as they struggle with the simple choices of life away from home. The no girls or guys sleeping over is way important, I can’t tell how distracting “playing” house can be during college – this liberal girl done grown up and appreciates a conservative approach. Tylor seems too as well, ‘cause he was super excited to be there thrilled to jump into Freshman Week.
This weekend I saw my momma’s perspective from that day she dropped me off at Kent State so many years ago via my sisters’ experience. I watched my sister let go of her son and collect herself as an independent human. You see having him was yes a struggle as she was a single parent but he also gave her a sense of belonging after the loss of our family. She’s spent the past 18 years focusing on how to keep life afloat and now this boat has set it’s own sail.
After moving Tylor in she returned to our house, climbed into bed and sank deep into the “unknown of the next” and my heart broke as I grasped for the first time that these little people grow up and go off into a world of their own. That night I searched the room of my little girls for a sting of time that I could grab onto.
Bella has been having a tough time with our up and coming move, school is back in session in Nashville and she is feeling here, nor there; a feeling I can relate too and in my past was restless with however now I seize these moments ‘cause I KNOW they are life’s little time outs allowing us some breathing room before a new level of experience is presented. I can’t tell Bella this; I must walk my own talk and show her to trust.
Even when we have a routine, have lived in the same house for 20 years, married to our high school sweet hearts, worked the same job since graduation – life is there in the wing – waiting to deliver CHANGE. Putting up our “dukes”, ducking into ditches, drawing the blinds and dreading the shift only makes the ride bumpier, so I’ve been trying to live my life with my arms opened wide, embracing the moment and saying yes to life’s direction
Princess Know It All – Knows that the unknown is just that UNKNOWN……………